I am writing to you in behalf of the ESH Congress Committee and the Swiss steering committee following consultations with the three Swiss organizing societies.
In 2017 the three Swiss constituent societies SMSH, Ghyps and Irhys were entrusted with hosting the 15th ESH Congress in Basel, Switzerland. The planning included the choice and renting of the Swiss Congress Center in Basel, the establishment of a Steering committee, and a Scientific committee, the engagement of Organizers a professional conference organizer group, the hiring of a caterer for lunch and coffee breaks, as well as a hall for the Gala dinner, a contract with Auditorium networks to provide video recordings of the presenters, the establishment of a website for the Congress and an investment in publicity for the conference in collaboration with the ESH.
A large number of abstracts has been submitted
In response to the publicity relayed by our Constituent Societies and ISH, an important number of abstracts approximately 250 were received with propositions for a workshop or an oral presentation from European countries as well as the USA, Japan, Iran, India etc. Prestigious and varied keynote speakers prepared interventions proposing new viewpoints or research pathways. The Scientific Committee worked hard to evaluate these propositions and came up with a comprehensive program proposing medical and psychotherapeutic applications of hypnosis and presenting recent ideas and pathways in research. The program was completed by information about the successful use of hypnotic communication and therapeutic approaches applied today in the major University hospitals and others hospitals within Switzerland.
When the final program came out this year on www.esh2020.ch, the enthusiasm of the organizing team was high and we were looking forward to a highly informative congress. Unfortunately, this was not to last long due to the Corona virus and its devastating effects on world health, economy and restrictions on meetings and travel.
Impacts of the Corona virus
With the virus spreading, we spent many hours trying to find a suitable answer to the question “Can we present the Congress as programmed?” It became clear with time that the correct answer was NO! We must cancel. Our goal shifted to protect those who would come to speak and the Congress participants. We looked at alternate possibilities like choosing a later date. But the Congress center could not provide the dates which we felt would be possible for our participants. We also found that we would run into conflict with other hypnosis Congresses. Not yet vanquished, we spent time looking at the possibilities of an on-line live Congress or a recorded Congress using modern audio-visual technology and internet. With time, it became evident that this would not be possible, since we did not have the necessary skills to accomplish such a Congress and not enough time to learn them, also the additional financial costs and risks were too high.
So it is with great regret that I wish to confirm that the ESH 2020 Congress in Basel is officially cancelled. The three Swiss societies will assume our loss of 102’000 Swiss Francs.
I take this opportunity to thank all the members of the ESH Board new and old for their constant support in this undertaking with special thanks to Gerard Fitoussi, Dr. Kathleen Long, Consuelo Casula and our inventive website communications expert Fabio Carnevale.
I wish to thank the members of the Steering committee: Alexandra Mella, Director and Dr. Philippe De Saussure President from Irhys, Caroline Maroni President, Caroline Inauen Board member and Thomas Villiger member from Ghyps and Professor Dr. Peter Sandor President from SMSH, Dr Gerard Fitoussi, President ESH and Dr. Kathleen Long, Chairman of the ESH Board’s Congress Committee for their enormous contribution in time, energy and know-how during these three years.
On behalf of us all, I wish to thank Prof. Dr. Peter Sandor, chairman of the Scientific Committee* as well as the other members of this committee for their competence and critics leading to the program which you can find on our website www.esh2020.ch at least until the end of this year. There you will be able to find information about the latest in hypnosis and the interests of presenters, who I am sure will inspire you or be useful for upcoming events in our Constituent Societies and elsewhere.
A special thanks to Organizers and especially Martina Speiser, senior project manager whose talents as a professional organizer and her warm generous personality gave us the necessary caring support all these years.
I wish to thank all our ESH constituent societies, the ISH, the Asian Society of Hypnosis and all those who have participated in some way or another to support this Congress through publicity during meetings, conferences, publicity in journals and in any other way.
Last but not least I take this opportunity to thank all those health professionals using hypnosis who by their participation through their well appreciated abstracts, and those members and health professionals who had already registered for their support. These abstracts will stay online on our site www.esh2020.ch until the end of 2020 at least. Please be assured that the registration fees which we have received will be fully returned by Organizers within a short time.
This has been quite an adventure. It has served to bring our three hypnosis societies closer together and to be in communication with their colleagues around the world. We are looking forward to sharing with you now and in the future the promotion of ethical and efficient hypnosis methods and research in the years to come.
For the Steering Committee
Dr. Michael Schekter, Board member SMSH
Prof. Dr. Peter Sandor, Chair of the Scientific Committee ESH2020; President SMSH, Baden, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Chantal Berna Renella, CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland
Prof. Antoine Bioy, Université Paris, France
Dipl. Psych. Consuelo Casula, ESH Committee, Società Italiana di Ipnosi,Italy
Dr. Philippe de Saussure, President IRHys, Geneva, Switzerland
Dr. Gérard Fitoussi, Paris, France
Dr. Alain Forster, HUG Geneva, Switzerland
Dr. Adriana Wolff, HUG Geneva, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Claudia Witt, University Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Philip J. Zindel, Binningen, Switzerland
lic. phil. Caroline Maroni, President ghyps, Zurich, Switzerland
Caroline Inauen MSc, Mandated by ghyps, Zürich, Switzerland
Dr. Philippe de Saussure, President IRHyS, Geneva, Switzerland
Dr. Michael Schekter, Chair of the Steering Committee ESH2020; SMSH, Lausanne, Switzerland